Winnebago County GOP says minimum wage hike is a mistake
Jim Thompson fears the minimum wage bill just signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker will soon have Illinois on an island all its own.
“Illinois is already leading the Midwest in outmigration, and if no one else follows suit this minimum wage increase will make our rates nearly double that of any other state in the area,” Thompson, chairman of the Winnebago County GOP, told the Rockford Sun. “That means the outmigration will continue in terms of both residents and the number of businesses across the state.”
The new law is set to boost the pay of minimum wage workers across Illinois to $15 per hour by 2025, but Thompson says he wonders if there are any real winners.
“In the long run, this will result in tax increases for all the residents that are still here,” he said. “And I don’t believe it will be beneficial for low- and middle-class workers, because there will be fewer jobs for them as more businesses move toward things like the kiosks already used in fast food restaurants to replace workers. The people who pushed for this were really shortsighted in terms of considering what we could be seeing happening six to eight years from now.”
By and large, Republicans are also agitated by the way they insist Pritzker and Democrats kept them at more than arm’s length when it came time to hammer the bill home.
“In the end, this won’t bode well for business, but it will be just as bad for workers,” Thompson added. “Over time, they’re the ones who won’t be able to get work while forced to pay more for things as prices for everything start to increase and trickle down. For sure, this wage hike will impact everyone and be felt by a lot more people than just those making minimum wage.”